In 2010, after planning my wedding pretty much nonstop and then dealing with the loss of my father, I suffered from a lot of stress and grief. My mind would constantly race with anxious thoughts and I realized that I was getting stressed out about way too many little things. So to bring myself some peace, I decided to look into practicing meditation, since I had heard it really helped calm the mind and body. I’ve now been practicing it pretty regularly for about a year and it really has done wonders for my mental and physical health! :D
Meditation is a practice that is not specific to any particular religion, even though its history is linked with many kinds. It is open, freeing, and a very relaxing experience that anyone can enjoy. :D You’re not meant to either repress your thoughts or emotions or let them run wild, but instead try to find a balance. To allow your mind to acknowledge the thoughts that pop up without acting upon them. This way you can observe your emotions without letting them consume you (which is what was happening to me.)
My current routine is to meditate for at least 10 minutes every morning. I sit on a folded up blanket on the floor (in a quiet room where no kitties pounce on me) and I practice different breathing and focusing techniques. My favorite way is to simply concentrate lightly on the feeling of my breath through my nose as I inhale and exhale. Nothing else.
If a thought tries to get my attention (like omg, I need to run 26 errands today), I say in my head “Later.” and allow the thought to softly dissolve. This way, I’m acknowledging the thought and its emotion without “punishing” myself for feeling that way or losing concentration.
It’s just the way the mind works. If you repress your emotions they will just bubble up worse later on and if you let them run rampant in your head you’re liable to go into a stress frenzy! And if you try to punish yourself, you’ll never make any progress or feel any calmer.
Practicing meditation makes me feel peaceful and clear throughout each day! I feel like I can focus better and take in my surroundings on a deeper level. Too often we get wrapped up in the rapid pace of life and I really believe that our minds get attuned to that routine. It can be a challenge to break out of that but molding the mind is a constant process because we as human beings are a process, constantly changing each day.
Here are my favorite resources on meditation:
- Hurry Up and Meditate – One of my favorite books full of great info and lots of techniques. It was the first one I picked up about meditation, actually, and the author’s prose is witty and enjoyable.
- When Things Fall Apart – I just began this book a few days ago and I can already tell it’s going to be a wonderful read. While not particularly about meditation (although the author does describe methods) it has many words of wisdom on working through difficult situations and the author’s own story is very heartfelt.
- Andrea Fella – My favorite teacher and speaker. I first discovered her talks online via podcast early on in 2010 and she has since been an inspiration to me! Her personal journey is amazing and I love listening to her discussions.
Topic: “What helps you relax?” from the Chiklita Blogging Challenge